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[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

Tuesday, February 22, 2000

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The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose (Oshawa, Lib.)): I think I've banged the gavel enough, so I'm not going to do it again.

We'll start the meeting. On our list of witnesses, we have the Canadian School Boards Association, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the Canadian Home and School Federation, and the Canadian Association of School Administrators.

I would ask for our witnesses to understand that you have ten minutes per group, and you can divide the time amongst your witnesses however you please. I'm a little bit generous on time, and I don't cut you off in mid-sentence. When I signal, though, please acknowledge that you're getting close.

I think we'll have you address us in the order indicated on the witness list, which means the Canadian School Boards Association is first. Please introduce yourselves, and you then have ten minutes.

Ms. Kathy LeGrow (President, Canadian School Boards Association): Good morning, sir. We have had the benefit of organizing ourselves prior to coming to this meeting, and our order does not follow your list of presenters. If you will bear with us, I will defer immediately to Dan Wiseman or Ross Donaldson, who are with the Canadian Association of School Administrators, and we'll undertake the presentation as we go. Thank you.

Mr. Ross Donaldson (Superintendent, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Canadian Association of School Administrators): Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and good morning.

In terms of beginning this morning, very briefly I would like to introduce the people before you. From the Canadian School Boards Association, we have Kathy LeGrow and Marie Pierce. From the Canadian Teachers' Federation, we have Marilies Rettig and Damian Solomon. From the Canadian Home and School Federation, we have Joyce Eynon. And from the Canadian Association of School Administrators, we have myself—Ross Donaldson—and Mr. Dan Wiseman. I think we have covered the group.

As was indicated earlier, we have selected members of our group to present on certain aspects of our brief. We thank you for providing us with the opportunity to appear before you as you consider Bill C-3. We are here this morning as educators, administrators, parents, and trustees to address how the new Youth Criminal Justice Act will impact upon the K-to-12 education system in Canada. Since most of the young offenders are of mandatory school age, decisions about cases will have a direct impact on our mandate to provide a safe and caring school environment.

Our primary concern, of course, is to ensure the safety of students and staff within our schools. Within that, school boards have a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that our schools are safe. Teachers, trustees, parents, and administrators all play a role, especially in cooperation with other social service partners, in preventing youth crime by helping to identify those at risk of offending, and by assisting in the rehabilitation of those who have committed offences.

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Overall, the Canadian School Boards Association, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the Canadian Association of School Administrators, and the Canadian Home and School Federation support the directions taken by the government in the YCJA. We believe it provides a good balance between the protection of the community and the rights of the young person.

Our brief is based on comments and information gathered from members across the country. It reflects their experiences in classrooms, schools and communities. Our specific comments and recommendations will focus on sections of the YCJA related to statements of principle, community-based approaches, access to information, and age applicability.

It is my privilege to speak to you on the statement of principles. Our associations have worked together on youth justice issues for a number of years. We have witnessed changes to the Young Offenders Act, and we now welcome the government's integrated approach to youth justice.

The YCJA is but one part of a strategy emphasizing prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation. While we believe young people must be held accountable for their actions, the protection of society is best served by multidisciplinary and community-based approaches to prevention and rehabilitation. The role of parents and the education system is, in our view, the key.

Clearly our associations support the statements in the preamble that clarify the overall objective of protecting society through a youth criminal justice system that commands respect, fosters responsibility, and ensures accountability through meaningful consequences and effective rehabilitation and reintegration. We also support very strongly the principle stated in subclause 3(1), that the youth criminal justice system must be separate from that of adults. It must emphasize fair and proportionate accountability, enhanced procedural protection, and greater emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration. It must also encourage the repair of harm done to victims and to the community.

Of course we must put this into perspective and realize that the community-based capacity is shrinking, because the safety net is shrinking as the size of the mesh in that net is getting bigger. We must also realize that our internal capacity to deal with students is directly proportional to the reduction in funds available to support this capacity. Finally, we must ensure early identification, intervention, and treatment, and we must understand that this is labour intensive and that there is no cheap way of doing this.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): I'd like to remind the witnesses that at 10:35 you will see us leave. We have no choice. We're like Pavlov's dogs. The bells are ringing and we have to leave for a vote. If you can get through your testimony in that time, it would be great. We can then do questioning as soon as we get back. Thank you.

Ms. Joyce Eynon (President, Canadian Home and School Federation): The first area that we would like to touch on is a key one, and it's the community-based approach. The importance of a coordinated approach to prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation cannot be overstressed.

Although Bill C-3 is federal legislation, it will be administered within the jurisdiction of provinces and territories. There has to be collaboration between the levels of government and communities to deal with the issue of youth crime and prevention. Fundamentally, crime prevention is a community process.

Our associations support innovative community approaches to prevention and rehabilitation. We emphasize the need for an expansion of government support for front-ending the funding of integrated community-based approaches that recognize the role of the education system. The reality of reduced funding and scarce resources makes coordinated services for prevention, early identification, and rehabilitation even more important. This also implies that the sharing of information among the various partners is important.

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Innovative approaches to prevent and reduce youth crime are already taking place in a number of communities across this country. For example, some schools are working cooperatively with community health, justice, and family service agencies. Communities are using school buildings to provide programs, such as parenting assistance, to families with low incomes and other marginalized groups. The program, Parents Assist Learning and Schools, PALS for short, has been in existence since 1995. PALS offers workshops in local schools to all interested parents. Information is disseminated throughout the community. This program could be enhanced with workshops dealing with youth in trouble.

There are peer tutoring programs available to encourage the development of self-esteem. Our youth assist younger children to reinforce these skills. Our youth justice education programs are being offered in schools. There are community awareness programs respecting the intergenerational nature of addiction-related issues. There's a wide range of school programs offered for students to satisfy the full extent of potential skills. Outreach programs have been designed for students who are not regular in their attendance, or who are losing ground in their studies.

There's no question that information on these and other effective programs could serve as models for programs in communities across the country. The federal government can play a role in ensuring that information on exemplary programs is collated and shared.

Our first recommendation to this committee is that the federal government provide funding for the development of a database on innovative community-based intervention programs. Information on what works can be shared among interested individuals and groups in a readily accessible manner. We believe that many sections of the proposed youth criminal justice act will support and further enhance these activities.

Ms. Marilies Rettig (President, Canadian Teachers' Federation): Thank you. My name is Marilies Rettig. I'm president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation. We represent the teacher associations in every province and the territories, and speak for the 240,000 teachers across the country.

Equally as important, this morning I'm here as part of an educational stakeholder group, a representational group of the decision-making bodies and the federations within the educational community, as we bring you our joint paper and positions relative to this new act.

Certainly we recognize the importance for integration and the emphasis on reintegration into the public education system as an important strategy and an important component of rehabilitation. But we must recognize that there are certain key conditions that are an absolute necessity if that strategy is to be utilized and effective. I will focus very briefly on two of these.

First and foremost is the necessity for an effective integrated approach. Secondly is the necessity for adequate resources to be put into place to allow us to be successful and for this model to achieve.

The one message I can bring to you on behalf of teachers is that schools cannot do this in isolation; school boards cannot achieve this successfully in isolation. If we are going to have effective reintegration of young offenders into our school system, then this has to be a community partnership; a partnership among parents, social agencies, justice agencies, and indeed the educational community. That is certainly one of the key and critical messages we want to bring forward relative to the integration and reintegration of young offenders.

We have to ensure that we not only look at an integrated approach when dealing with the reintegration of young offenders, but that integrated, community-based approach must be evident at the very early levels of childhood. Early intervention is an absolutely critical strategy that we must contemplate, so we're not just dealing with young offenders and the aftermath of criminal offences committed by youth, but we're looking at intervention to prevent those kinds of criminal acts on the part of youth.

To this end, I wish to reference the national children's agenda and the compatibility of the national children's agenda with that very kind of community broad-based strategy. At every level, whether it's early infancy, young childhood, or throughout the years children and youth are at school, we must look to strategies to allow each and every child to reach his or her full potential. That dictates that we, as a community and a society, look at the most broad-based approach we can effect.

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To that end, we certainly support the expansion of extrajudicial measures in the new legislation. Those are certainly outlined for you within the context of our brief today.

Secondly, I'd like to very briefly address the issue of adequate resources. We've entitled it “Inadequate Resources”. We have found across this country there have been considerable cuts to programs within the context of school boards themselves, within school board-based programs that deal with and are targeted to dealing with youth in crisis and youth who have been young offenders.

We have seen that same kind of cut at a school-based level, where we have students who have been reintegrated, and the resources are not even available to them at the school level. It is an absolute necessity that we look not only at the funding and the resources available in the school context and in the school community context, but certainly at a greater community context. To that end, we have a second recommendation to present to you today.

We recommend that the federal government, as part of its responsibility for youth crime prevention and the rehabilitation of young offenders, significantly increase its funding for innovative, integrated community-based approaches to prevention and rehabilitation that recognize the role of the education system as one of the partners in this process.

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: Thank you.

The Canadian School Boards Association represents over 400 school boards across this country, which represent about 5 million children.

I'll speak to you about access to information, which is very important to school boards and school staff across the country. Access to information on young offenders is central to our concerns. School board jurisdictions require access to information in order to ensure the safety of students and staff, as well as to assist with rehabilitation.

We support the expansion of the purposes for which youth workers are entitled to disclose information contained in a record to a representative of any school board or school, as detailed in subclause 124(5) and subclause 124(6). Amendments in 1995, through Bill C-37, provided that information could be shared with schools to ensure compliance with probation or other orders and to ensure the safety of staff, students, or others. Bill C-3 adds the provision, “or to facilitate the rehabilitation of the young person”. This will clear away a large obstacle that has been in the way of better integration of services to these people.

There is a difference, however, between what is in law and what happens in practice. Since the passage of Bill C-37 in December 1995, school boards have had varying success in ensuring they are kept informed, particularly in open custody situations. There needs to be recognition that there is an obligation on the part of the provincial director, youth worker, or peace officer or any other person engaged in the provision of services to young persons to disclose this information to schools or school boards. I refer in particular to children being sentenced to school and the school having no knowledge of their record.

The third recommendation we are making is that subclause 124(5) and subclause 124(6) be amended to clearly state there is a requirement to disclose information to the designated representative of any school board or school if the disclosure is necessary to ensure compliance, to ensure the safety of staff, students or other persons, or to facilitate the rehabilitation of the young person.

There is also the need for a more active role by the Department of Justice in ensuring that Justice officials are made aware of the rights of the school board jurisdictions to information on young offenders. In that area it's been our experience across the country that there's a great deal of variation in terms of how the Department of Justice works.

In an attempt to ensure the school board jurisdictions receive the information they require, and in recognizing and accepting the responsibilities of confidentiality that go along with disclosure, CSBA produced, in early 1996, a handbook entitled Protocol and Guidelines: Information Sharing Between School Officials and Young Offenders Personnel. It's our intention to follow up on that as this act changes, to further inform our school boards as to how to properly access and hold this information provided by the Department of Justice.

Our second issue is age applicability. We have a number of concerns related to the current age range contained within the proposed youth criminal justice act. In attempting to deal with these issues, we recognize that lowering the minimum and/or maximum ages for the YCJA is not the most effective solution. Action is required in a number of areas, including provincial legislation and the reallocation of resources.

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There are two key issues that need to be addressed with regard to dealing with children under the age of 12 who commit offences.

The first concerns the inconsistent provision and application of provincial legislation for dealing with young persons under the age of 12.

The second concerns the need for young persons to be held accountable for their actions and to have a clear understanding that when they commit a crime, there are definite consequences.

Therefore, our fourth recommendation is that the federal government, in cooperation with the provincial governments, develop a clear, concise resource book on the existing provincial legislative provisions for dealing with young persons under the age of 12 who commit offences.

Young people have to have a clear understanding that when they commit a crime there are definite consequences for their actions. There is a need for a clearly defined and agreed-upon process for dealing with children under the age of 12 who commit offences.

Our fifth recommendation, therefore, is that the federal government, in cooperation with its provincial partners, examine various options for dealing in a consistent manner with children under the age of 12 who commit what would be offences under the YCJA.

I will pass on to Joyce for concluding remarks.

Ms. Joyce Eynon: I actually didn't introduce myself at the beginning. I'm the president of the Canadian Home and School Federation, so I represent the voice of parents in education in Canada, which adds up into the millions.

I am now going to conclude.

As we have already stated, the majority of young offenders are of mandatory school age, and schools must deal with children who offend or who have problems that could lead to difficulties with the law in the future. At the same time, we must ensure that schools are safe places to learn and to teach, and as key partners in the process, we recognize that early identification of these children is imperative. Resources to assist in the early identification and appropriate treatment of these children must be available.

In order to adequately address concerns with regard to the prevention and treatment of children at risk, including young offenders, a number of things must happen. There must be fast-tracking of the response and resolution of infractions committed by the child. The child must know that there are consequences to his or her actions.

Secondly, our local communities must be supported by federal and provincial governments in developing and establishing integrated approaches to early identification, prevention, and treatment. Community protocols must be developed and community-based solutions implemented.

Thirdly, federal and provincial funds have to be redistributed and equitably allocated to ensure resources for prevention and rehabilitation. We need to know that when high-risk children are identified, appropriate rehabilitation and treatment will follow. A variety of response alternatives need to be developed.

Public education is critical, and balanced factual information about the nature and the frequency of youth crime must be developed and disseminated to the public. This information should be presented in a clear and non-inflammatory manner to provide a true understanding of the degree of offences committed by young people to help counteract the negative public perception of youth crime.

Communication instruments giving a clear picture of how the YCJA is applied when young people commit offences must be developed and made available.

The importance of a comprehensive information dissemination strategy aimed at all partners, especially parents, cannot be overemphasized. Our organizations are willing to work in cooperation with the federal government to ensure that our respective constituencies are kept informed in a timely and suitable manner to changes to the youth justice legislation.

So we support the government's plan for a comprehensive, phased-in implementation to ensure that there is adequate time to address these concerns.

We finished before we needed to go.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

We have to go now, and we'll be back as soon as our principal lets us go.

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The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you very much to our witnesses for waiting. We're going to cut a couple of corners here. I think we're shy one person, but.... Okay.

Mr. Cadman, please, you have seven minutes, or more.

Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, Ref.): Thank you, Mr. Chair. With seven minutes or more, I'll try to be brief. I think these folks have been here long enough. I just want to thank you all for coming and putting up with what's part of this place.

I have a brief question on your recommendation 3, where you suggest that disclosure is necessary to ensure compliance and the safety of staff, students, or other persons, and to facilitate rehabilitation. Am I to gather from this that you basically consider that you should be notified on virtually everything? Every single one of those things you say would have something to do with any young offender who was returning to school. That's wide open.

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: Yes, thank you. I'll take the opportunity to respond.

I think any incident that has an impact on the safety of students and staff is important for a school population, a school staff, to know about, but with discretion and respect for privacy. However, I just wanted to point out that in that section we followed the way the legislation was written. Really the point we want to stress the most is to facilitate the rehabilitation of the child.

This is where we feel we can be very helpful, almost instrumental, in aiding and abetting that in the beginning. Also with early intervention, early recognition of behavioural difficulties, if we know about them early on, when the child is younger, and we're given an opportunity with other systems to help toward the rehabilitation of this child, we would assume and expect that the child would behave much better later on than if the information had not been allowed to be shared.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: All right. Does anybody else want to respond?

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Ms. Marilies Rettig: If I could add to that, because it's certainly a very critical concern that has been raised by teachers right across the country, there's a real discrepancy in terms of the information that's made available. There's no consistency.

I would suggest that the areas are twofold. One Kathy has already mentioned, relative to safety and security of that individual and other students under our care. I think the second one would pertain to designing programs for that particular child, intervention programs, ensuring that the appropriate resources are available in the classroom in terms of instruction delivery and also the outside the classroom situation, other resources.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: Does anyone else want to comment?

To follow through on that, then, are you suggesting that just the school administration be made aware, or the actual teacher in the classroom? I've certainly talked to teachers who would really like to know if they have a young person sitting in that second row who is predisposed to violence, not knowing if just looking at them the wrong way might set them off.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: I think that should go all the way down the line, to school board personnel at the school board level, where they're designing more global school board intervention programs, to school administration, certainly, and precisely to the classroom teacher. I've heard that from teachers across the country, practitioners at the grassroots who haven't secured that kind of information sometimes five or six months after they've received the student in question.

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: I'd like to add to that, though, that it's only on a need-to-know basis, because obviously the privacy of the individual is also important. So the information would only be shared by those people who would have a direct impact on the student or in the chain of command in the school or education system.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: In recommendation 5, you are suggesting that the government, with the provincial partners, examine options in dealing with those under 12 years old. I wonder if you have any suggestions. You're suggesting that they get together and maybe talk about it, but do you yourself have any suggestions as to how we should be dealing with those under 12 years of age?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: As I mentioned earlier, we feel that early identification is the most important role that a school and its related community partners can play in the prevention of crime in later life. If we are able to identify children at a young age as having a potential for engaging in some kind of criminal, especially violent, activity, if we can catch them at a young age and address their needs and concerns, then we feel that we can have a greater chance of preventing crime later on.

I know we're working now with the federal Department of Justice in terms of looking at programs that are already in existence for identifying these children and meeting their needs. We're looking at sharing that information across the country and also looking at other new and innovative approaches to identifying these young people.

Mr. Damian Solomon (Assistant Director, Professional Development Services, Canadian Teachers' Federation): If I could add to that—and certainly I would like to emphasis what Kathy has said about the early identification and intervention—what we have found is that a lot of young kids who have drifted into what you might call criminal behaviour started off as students who were not identified as having perhaps a learning disability, or they had other problems at a young age that were not captured by the school community or by their parents simply because of the lack of resources and the lack of time to identify them. I think we further penalize those kids if we push them out of the classroom and do not address their disability or the problem they have. These are the kids who, if their problems are not addressed, tend to lapse into behaviour that becomes a much more serious problem later on.

So early identification and intervention is really a very critical stage for these issues to be addressed. These kids do not represent a huge number; we have statistics from the department of statistics showing that only approximately 1.5% of incidents reported by the police involve kids under 12 years of age. But small though that segment might be, it's important that we do not let these kids lapse into behaviour because they're not given the treatment they should get at that time, and then, of course, the situation becomes worse for them and they become a charge on the public and are further criminalized, and maybe go into custody, which costs the state a lot more than providing that treatment at that time.

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Mr. Chuck Cadman: I have one final question on that. We've heard testimony from a number of people, including Professor Bala, that suggests that those under the age of 12 and down as far as 10 should be brought into the youth offender system. There's talk about a possible mechanism akin to the transfer application: that if an offence is committed that is deemed to be serious enough, an application be made to the court to bring a person that young into the system, not to incarcerate them, but to get them the help they obviously need. I just wondered if you have any views on that.

Ms. Marie Pierce (Executive Director, Canadian School Boards Association): We don't support the measures that criminalize children in order to get them the services they require. If you want to address the needs they have, it's better to look at the other models we have with regard to the social services sector and to look at some collaborative models and mechanisms that may be in existence to address the needs of those children.

If the only reaction to address their needs is to criminalize them, we do not support that approach. We feel there are other kinds of resources that may be applied, that we can utilize to ensure they get the help they need—but not to put them through the criminal justice system.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: If there's no criminalization, what about the aspect of accountability, of the message it sends to people under 12 when they do commit particularly vicious acts of violence?

Ms. Marie Pierce: What we want to ensure is that they are held accountable for their actions. That's why we're making the recommendation to look at some sort of alternative approaches: to ensure that they do have the services they need, but also to ensure that they recognize and are told that what they have done is not appropriate and that there are consequences for them.

Too often, children under the age of 12 think that if they do something, nothing happens, but there are measures we can look at through the social service agencies and other mechanisms to ensure that their actions do have consequences. Putting them in the youth criminal justice system is not an approach we support.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: Anybody else...?

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you, Mr. Cadman.

Mr. McKay.

Mr. John McKay (Scarborough East, Lib.): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I feel at a loss: Mr. MacKay hasn't gone ahead of me.

The witnesses earlier today talked about the zero tolerance policy in the education system. I assume this is a policy with which all of you are quite familiar. To risk mischaracterizing the testimony, but to say it in a somewhat provocative form, they saw the zero tolerance policy as something quite problematic: that in fact it generated kids into the criminal justice system at a far higher rate than it really should, that because of zero tolerance, the police would arrive, charge, and haul the kid out of the school. They didn't see that as altogether good.

I'd be interested in your comments as educators who have now observed zero tolerance in action, shall we say, for the last number of years, as to whether zero tolerance is in fact working from an educator's perspective. Secondly, if it's not, should zero tolerance be ratcheted up to 1% or 2% in its application?

Ms. Marilies Rettig: If I may, I'll just set the context and then pass it on to my colleagues to address some specifics relative to policies at the school board level.

Certainly zero tolerance takes various forms in terms of practice and even in terms of interpretation. We have a concern—and it's a concern shared by each of our groups at the table today—with respect to a zero tolerance that would impose an extreme response to a minor problem. It's absolutely essential that there are consequences for students for inappropriate behaviour and for extreme inappropriate behaviour, but that those responses and consequences are appropriate for the actions students have taken.

Now I'll just pass it on for some more specific examples.

Mr. Dan Wiseman (Chief of Social Work, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board; Canadian Association of School Administrators): My comment from an administrative point of view, on a day-to-day basis, is that I think zero tolerance as a concept is misunderstood and tends to be a sort of catch-all for, as mentioned, extreme reactions that are out of proportion to the events.

If zero tolerance is a philosophy that speaks to all of us and to children in particular and says that we don't accept violence, that we don't rationalize it, that we don't say “boys will be boys” as a way of saying it's kind of normalized and it's okay.... If zero tolerance is a statement that says it's not okay and we're going to consequence it appropriately, both for the individual involved, which includes the victim, and the family, and in order to send a message in the school environment and ultimately to a community, we believe that's a good thing.

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I think the issue for us is how we provide a range of consequences that allow a learning process to take place. And I would speak to that in relation to particularly those under 12 years old. We do believe that there is opportunity for learning and accepting consequences for their actions that can operate simultaneously and that they are not mutually exclusive.

So in that sense I think zero tolerance does allow us to send a message, not just to children but frankly to adults as well. So in that sense I believe it's an effective, if well understood, way of sending a marketing message, if we can use that term, that there is only one kind of violence. There aren't two kinds. There isn't good violence and bad violence. There's only one kind. And this allows us to speak to that. I think in that sense it's been important for all of us.

Mr. John McKay: Do you see the bill as supporting that view or as a hindrance to that view or detrimental to that view?

Mr. Dan Wiseman: I would see the bill overall, as my colleagues have said, as enhancing the general position that we address this via a number of fundamental principles, the interactive multidisciplinary approach, all of that trickling down to dealing with individual children in a manner that allows us to tailor it with response, consequences and resources. We've mentioned that where they are non-existent we tend to get extreme, and I think that's one of the things that drive us to an inappropriate use of the concept.

So in that sense I see them operating simultaneously, and therefore for those of us working day to day with children in a school setting, this bill is very important as a way of getting some consistency of approach, some philosophies in place.

Mr. John McKay: Do you see the educators having more of an interactive role with the police officer in the discretionary aspect of diversion with the implementation of this bill?

Mr. Dan Wiseman: Yes, absolutely. In fact I'll speak for Ottawa-Carleton, because it's where we're from. Prior to 1990 we had five officers dealing with Elmer the safety elephant. And we'll all remember him. We now have close to 40 officers working in schools. And in a very short period of time across this country, we see police officers and policing organizations seeing their best use of resources in dealing with youth and youth issues with partnerships with schools.

So when we see police, school personnel, and other mental health professionals working in a school early, because we have the opportunity, we have the captive audience, that's a rare opportunity that we don't share or is not shared with any other institution in this country. The results are immediate, timely, and extremely multidisciplinary because they can all happen at the same time.

So for an effective response the resources are available, and that response can vary with the severity, with the specifics of the case, with the wishes and wants of administrators and parents in the community, and can allow a vehicle for bringing those together.

My last comment on this simply would be that I think this is why schools offer that mechanism of connection to a number of the philosophies outlined in this legislation. In fact, in the broader context of managing children and giving children what they need, it's a way to plug in early and appropriately.

Mr. John McKay: Let me address the issue of resources, because that riddles your submission, shall we say.

Quite obviously, as educators, you know full well that it's the province that funds the education system, and properly so. The contribution of the federal government is usually in the form of the Canada health and social transfer, which is a substantial case, and I can speak for Ontario, for which it's about 10% of their budget. But really it's a blank cheque. There's very little that the federal government does in terms of controlling the application of that money.

The other area of money is that the federal government has money that goes directly to an aspect of the system, usually applied to the application of a sentence. And the proposal is to up that money something in the order of about $50 million a year.

Those negotiations are continuing, and I'd be interested in your comments as to how you see those negotiations unfolding. What guidance would you give the federal government in terms of its commitment to increasing the funding as far as its role in the youth justice system is concerned?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: If I may, the Canadian School Boards Association has undertaken a very active lobby at the national level with regard to those issues that concern us nationally, such as child poverty and youth justice, to name two. We have visited with many members of Parliament with our concerns. We have realized and certainly heard what you've just expressed—the fact that federal government money is not always spent in the provinces the way that MPs would like to have it spent—on many occasions.

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With that, and with our partner organizations, we are now becoming very active provincially. So each of our provincial associations, for example, has visited their ministers of education, health, and community services on the issue of the national children's agenda. We will continue to lobby provincially. So you have that kind of pressure coming up the other way on provincial governments to provide the kind of programming in particular that would meet the needs of our children that we are concerned about. We would see a role for ourselves in that regard with the use of federal government dollars as it's invested in the young children under the Youth Justice Criminal Act.

We would commit to this, that we would have a very active lobby, not just on the part of school boards. But you have people in front of you now, who represent a very large sector of society, who have become very politically active and do have the capacity of providing quite a pressure, quite a lobby group, on provincial governments to make sure the moneys that are coming in are spent appropriately to meet the needs of the children we serve.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: And certainly we have a similar structure to the CSBA in that we have, as members of CTF, the federations from provincial and territorial organizations across the country. We've certainly made the same advancements relative to the children's agenda and the kind of lobbying that has to take place at the provincial level to ensure that this kind of emphasis is placed on provinces to set their priorities in the right places. And that's in programs and intervention programs.

I think we will realize success if we do that effectively as a broader coalition, if we do that as teachers and school boards, and particularly parents, at a provincial context and right down to a local school board and community context, so that provinces realize where the priorities are and indeed where the solutions are. The solutions are investment in those kinds of intervention programs.

Certainly the message we've brought forward in the context of the national children's agenda is the importance of the social union framework and utilizing the social union framework for that kind of cooperation agreement between the federal government and between provinces.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): You can ask one more, if you want to.

Mr. John McKay: I have a final question and it's somewhat provocative. I was discussing this issue with you off record, and the lead article in the National Post this morning is: “Education System Failing Boys: Experts”. We have a gathering of experts, and the interesting question is that the youth justice system primarily deals with boys. The thesis of the article is that really the boys would benefit more from greatly increased standards and a little bit of competition. That probably goes for girls too. The cooperative “feel good” feminist approach to education is just not motivating boys.

I'm curious as to whether there is any inverse, almost perverse, aspect to the education system, which in some respects creates its own subset of children in trouble with the law, and whether that is a valid observation.

I'm seeing nobody wants to take it.

A voice: Who wants to take it?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: As a female, I wouldn't want to be accused of having a feminist approach on these issues. I do take exception to the article in the way it's stated. I'm going to give you a personal observation that a board I used to chair undertook in its junior high schools to employ elementary trained teachers in the junior high school setting, because they found that the nurturing nature of these elementary-trained teachers was much more useful in managing these children with raging hormones than subject-based teachers, and it worked. That's purely subjective on my part.

But I think that, as my colleague Marie said earlier, if one statistic goes up another one has to go down. If girls are being more successful in school, that means that boys are going to be less successful in school.

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But I will defer to my colleagues.

Mr. Damian Solomon: I think it's kind of ironic, because a few years ago there were a lot of concerns about the fact that girls were not really performing as well as they could in areas such as mathematics and science, because as they got into the upper grades, they felt intimidated by the presence of male students. It was also said that girls did not even get the chance to participate in the classroom as often as the male students did. Of course, being very sensitive to all these issues of gender, I think we have seen a lot of improvement in some of the ways classes are run.

I think Kathy made a good point there. As we made progress with helping girls become more confident in their self-esteem, we see that their performance has increased. We know that boys mature at a later stage than girls, but we may find that now we're seeing a gap in their performance. But I'm not sure about that gap, and I would want to delve deeper into these statistics to see how sound they are. Sometimes what we see on the surface isn't really as accurate as it's made out to be, especially if we just believe what we see in the media.

Mr. John McKay: I have one final question.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Go ahead.

Mr. John McKay: The trouble with public policy is that the law of unintended consequences prevails in all matters. The issue here is whether, in the rethinking of educational policy so as to be, for want of a better term, more feminist, in fact you create a marginalization of boys, and that marginalization leads to a marginalization of the population we're talking about, namely, the children who are in the youth justice system. I throw that out as a thought. I'm not at all persuaded that's true, but I just wonder whether there's any thinking going on among educational experts here as to whether the education system is having the unintended consequence of marginalizing male children, which in effect creates a subset of a population that's marginalized.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: Very briefly, certainly I think the key to education is to provide an environment in which each and every child can reach his or her full potential. Certainly the focus has been on young girls who were found to be underachieving and an assessment of why they are underachieving. I just briefly scanned the results of the Stats Canada-CMEC pan-Canadian indicators report, and the results were that girls were doing better in math and sciences. I don't recollect reading that the results for males have fallen to any great degree; in fact they were about the same. It's just that girls were starting to reach that threshold, which I think is good and positive, because it speaks to children reaching their full potential.

In terms of marginalizing certain groups of students, I know there has been discussion among teacher federations with regard to the increased feminization of the teaching profession. That's different from the curriculum, and I would counter and argue with anyone who says that the curriculum is feminized.

We're seeing that the trends and statistics are that although about 70% of the workplace in terms of teaching is female, that's escalating both at the elementary and secondary levels. We're looking critically at how we can get some role models for boys and get some male teaching at that elementary level. Certainly we at the CTF level and others in different parts of the country are looking specifically at that.

We're also doing a more intensive analysis of supply and demand and looking at demographics and assessing whether we are attracting both men and women to the profession, and if not, what the impediment is to that. Are we keeping them in the teaching profession? If not, what are the impediments to keeping them in the profession? I think that's a really critical study for us, because it's absolutely imperative that both role models are there. If both role models are there, it will allow for the potential full development of every child and that kind of socialization that has to take place at all levels, particularly at the youngest levels of education.

Mr. John McKay: So there's an argument for a preferential hiring program.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: No, I didn't say that. It's for research and investigation.

I don't know if someone else wants to add something.

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Mr. Dan Wiseman: I would comment less on the gender issue and more on the marginalizing of children. I'd just make the point that for us as a country, I think there is a serious issue with the risk of marginalizing large groups of children. That is why I believe—and I think why we believe—your initiative and where we're going have such critical importance, because of the leadership. I would simply comment that in relation to your colleagues at the provincial level, whatever leadership would get us a cohesive, coherent, and comprehensive strategy for all children would speak to some of the marginalizing issues around which a subset would be how we deal with boys and how we deal with girls. It wouldn't surprise anybody around this table that we deal with them differently. So in that sense I think we do have some very profound issues, not just in education but beyond, that we as parents and otherwise have to struggle with.

The notion of a lost generation of children is not something we in Canada are familiar with. It is something that is very clearly an imminent reality. Our children have a need for us to address this within the education sector, but also, I think, through the leadership of legislators and others, in order to bring back the kinds of resource-based resources, classrooms, and others that we have available. I would just remind us all that this is what's at risk here. The risks are high, but the benefits are great.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you.

Mr. Cadman.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: Mr. Chair, there's one issue I've encountered on a number of occasions in talking to students, particularly at the high school and junior high levels, and it has also reached the point where I've had parents actually bring their kids into my office to talk about it. When we have bullying or harassment on the school grounds or cases where somebody has been convicted, in many cases the offender returns to the school and the victim moves. I see that as a serious problem. The victim either moves out of the school district, goes to another school, or goes to home schooling, one or the other. Invariably, I've seen the offender return to the classroom, and the victim has to move on.

I just wonder if you have any views on how we should be dealing with that. How do you deal with it? We had one very serious case of sexual assault in Alberta, which I'm sure you reported.

Mr. Ross Donaldson: From my point of view and speaking from the position I hold as superintendent of schools with a responsibility for safe schools within the jurisdiction I work in, in order for the situation you're speaking about not to happen, I think the following has to happen.

We work in partnership with a variety of community agencies. Once a week we meet to talk about exactly the types of cases you're referring to. What we attempt to do when we deal with that situation on a weekly basis is to ensure, first of all, that from our perspective—that is, the jurisdiction I work in—the victim is looked after, number one. Number two, we will deal with this situation in order to put the perpetrator in an environment where they're going to succeed in terms of their academic ability, and they're not going to have a negative influence on their fellow students. So our experience has been the reverse of the incident you're referring to.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: That has been my experience in terms of other jurisdictions. But I think it speaks to the necessity for looking for best practices and consistent practices and the application of those practices to ensure that we deal with it in a consistent fashion so as to ensure the safety of the child who was victimized and to ensure that the other child or youth is placed in an environment where he or she can succeed. That's where you look to some of the innovative programs that are taking place across the country in terms of alternative education programs, alternative schools, locating a child into another school, and putting them into a special peer mentoring program or another program of that nature. Certainly we have to take a look at what are the best practices and what should be the consistent method of approach and response.

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: The other point I think we need to make is to discover whether or not the school community actually knows about some of these offences.

With regard to the case you referred to that took place in Edmonton, I don't know that the school community was aware of the situation until after it was brought to light by the families. When we talk about access to information in our brief, this is a good indication of how important it is for us to have access to that kind of information beforehand.

• 1330

The other issue related to that is resources. Again, in my own home province of Newfoundland, we had a case where a 13-year-old boy from a very small remote community was charged with violent sexual assault. He was sentenced to school, which is often the response, especially for a 13-year-old a couple of years ago, and the only school he could go to was the one the victim was attending.

So what was the option there for the school board? They broke the law, since the school board is required to educate every student under its care, and they chose not to educate this child. They did not have the resources in terms of teachers to provide home schooling for that particular child. Nobody challenged the school board in question. They could have brought them to court, but I guess it was realized that under the circumstances this was the only option available to the board.

That's probably a rather extreme example, but resources are really critical in meeting the needs of some of these children. If there isn't an alternate environment to put them in, then what do we do with them? Obviously if the justice system is not well represented in smaller rural areas—and that's certainly the case across this country—what kind of resources are we going to have in place to meet the needs of these young people?

Mr. Chuck Cadman: I guess, from my perspective, we have a classic situation here of the victim's rights as opposed to the rights of the offender. Who takes precedence in a case? If you are in a situation where the offender cannot be sent to another school, but the victim cannot return to that school, who gets precedence?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: I think as Ross said, in their particular jurisdiction—and I hope this would be the philosophy of jurisdictions across the country—the victim's needs take precedence over the perpetrator's needs. That's the way it ought to be. That's not always the way it is in practice.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: That's why I asked.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you.

Mr. Maloney, do you have anything?

Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.): Mr. Wiseman, on the issue of zero tolerance, who makes the decision to call the police? Is it the principal, a board member, or staff? Who actually makes that decision?

You've also suggested that...[Technical Difficulty—Editor]...other than zero tolerance. There are perhaps degrees. How are your staff, or whoever makes the decision, educated in that respect? If there's a schoolyard fight, why don't you call the police? If there's pushing at the lockers, perhaps somebody being whacked over the head with a pencil or broken stool, where are the degrees? Can you give me some indication about what zero tolerance in fact means?

Mr. Dan Wiseman: If I gave the impression that there were degrees, it was more from the point of view of response. The fundamental aspect of what we consider to be zero tolerance is a response to an event that could be anything from management by the teacher of two six-year-olds in the schoolyard, but the message is sent up to and including where a criminal act takes place.

I can't speak for other jurisdictions, but in the province of Ontario we have specific mandated conditions under which we must call the police. On the one hand you have the discretion to manage an event within the school under the discretion of a teacher, in fact up to a principal. If it's a serious crime—and I'm talking obviously of crimes of violence, crimes of extortion, serious criminal acts—then we are obliged to contact the police. So most jurisdictions obviously follow that.

That's where the relationship with the police becomes so critical, because we ultimately have to manage.... Even if an investigation is forthcoming or a call to police has been made, that doesn't necessarily relate to a charge, as you well know. It does open the door for a whole series of consequences and/or what might be a criminal justice resolution, for example, mediation or circle sentencing, used pre-charge.

So in essence, it's a discretionary call to a point, then it becomes mandatory, and the response or the consequence unfolds as the circumstances dictate, up to and including the charging, the management of victims, and all of the things that need to be part and parcel of that. It's a continuum, I guess, is the issue, as opposed to the philosophy of “we must manage all events”, because that's an important message to the victim.

Mr. John Maloney: I have another question on information to schools. There was a suggestion here this morning that if we open it up too wide, it will develop into a stigmatization of that child, even within the teaching profession, that he or she may be looked on as a bad kid and perhaps rehabilitation and reintegration may in fact not be what we'd like to see in the school because the kid has been labelled, even by members of the teaching profession. Is that a fair comment? What do you see in actuality, as far as you are concerned?

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Ms. Marilies Rettig: What I've seen, both as a practitioner in my experience as a teacher over the last number of years as well as from information I've secured from teachers right across the country, is that information isn't coming to them. They're not finding out about students who have been offenders, even if they've been violent offenders who are part of their classroom. That tends to be the most common response.

I quite agree that you don't want to stigmatize or label students. At the same time, you have to provide the kind of information to teachers that is necessary to provide for a safe environment for all the students and for the best learning environment for that particular child in question.

So my thought is—and I reiterate the comments made by Kathy earlier—certainly it's personnel at the school board, at the school level, on a need-to-know basis, and I would suggest that the teacher who is delivering the academic program to the child is one who should be privy to that kind of information.

Certainly confidentiality has to be respected. We're not looking at expanding the loop. We're not looking at having information disclosed at a staff meeting or even a department meeting to all teachers, but certainly the teacher who is delivering the program to that child should know and be privy to that information.

Mr. John Maloney: Go ahead, Marie.

Ms. Marie Pierce: The other point to make is that when we first got the right to have access to some of this information a number of years ago, as school boards we were quite proactive in developing sample protocols and policies to assist boards to ensure that when we did have the right to information, boards had clearly put in place policies about who gets it and what the need to know is, and also respecting the confidentiality. So we also understood the obligation from our side to ensure that our people were properly informed and that protocols were put in place.

In the new provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which expands the areas in which we can get information, we've also made a commitment to undertake that initiative once again. In fact we're currently holding a number of focus group sessions across the country with representatives from the education sectors saying, with regard to the current provisions, what is working and what is not working with regard to the access to information; what do we need to change in our protocols as schools board in setting policy?

So we're quite aware of the issues surrounding the access to information and the need to balance the need to know with the confidentiality issue. But the reality is that unless we have appropriate in-service and protocols in place, it would be very difficult to manage and ensure that we do fulfil our obligations around that. So we recognize all those provisions and have made a commitment to address them.

Mr. John Maloney: You talked about appropriate in-services. Are there training programs for all teachers to sensitize them to dealing with children with problems, or is it that certain schools perhaps have a higher preponderance of these incidents and those teachers are given extra training in that respect or just learn on the job?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: Certainly with declining funding all across the board, the moneys for professional development have diminished, if not gone away completely, in many school boards. There is a preponderance of these students in certain schools. They are located in certain areas, more so in some areas and less so in others. That can be either a problem or an opportunity. I think it's both. If you have them all in one place, you have a mechanism by which you can address and meet their concerns. But also, by having them all in one place, the potential for further problems as a result of that is also there.

But it is a resource issue in terms of training teachers. I would imagine they get some training in university. They get some training in terms of in-servicing at the school level, but that would be more informal than formal, and the kind of formal training that would be required in terms of time and resources to provide that is generally not there.

Mr. John Maloney: So is it fair to say the decline in resources will prohibit or mitigate against earlier intervention, and therefore the problem will be exacerbated?

Ms. Kathy LeGrow: I refer to what our colleagues said earlier, that the social safety net is getting smaller and the holes are getting bigger because of declining resources. Everyone is aware of that across the country. We have been trying to do more with less, but gaps in the system have occurred as a result of that.

It's not just the school system that can be held accountable or responsible for meeting the needs of these children; it's a societal problem. I think it can be done financially efficiently if we pool our resources. I don't mean just pooling at the community level, but locally, municipally, provincially, and federally. If we can all pull together and identify that the focus of our efforts is this child who needs to be rehabilitated, I think we can do that with less money at the end of the day than more, if we all have the same goal in mind.

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Mr. John Maloney: Ms. Rettig, did you have a comment? And then Mr. Donaldson.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: I was going to emphasize the fact that there's an incredible variance. The common position is that there isn't a lot of PD. If there's one area that has been cut drastically at provincial levels, it has been professional development.

I know federations in different provinces have offered courses, summer courses for teachers, and a lot of those deal with these kinds of issues: classroom management, intervention with students, peer intervention, peer mediation, those kinds of programs. But I think it's absolutely essential that we look at a more global response, one that provides consistent programs and in-servicing for teachers across the country.

I also take Kathy's point very seriously in that it can't be isolated as a focused strategy dealing exclusively with teachers. We have to look at a broader community approach as well.

Mr. John Maloney: Mr. Donaldson.

Mr. Ross Donaldson: In terms of the resources you're talking about at a strictly municipal level, then again, as a specific example, two years ago we had 27 particular support units to deal with behaviour management and with children coming out of the justice system, in order to assist them. This year we have eight. Next year, I would assume—and Mr. Wiseman can correct me—we will probably be down to zero in terms of supports because of the reality of the funding.

In terms of information, in terms of the district I represent, two-tenths of one percent of the population requires that level of support, therefore I think I would like to support that type of information that was provided to you earlier. We need to get away from the issues of silos, and to use another agricultural analogy, perhaps get back to the old grain elevators that are disappearing. We don't have silos of corn, silos of barley, and silos of wheat. We have them all in one place, and we can access them as we need them and get them into the chute.

So we're very concerned about the fact that we're going to be asked to take not youngsters but, I would say, adolescents at this stage from the justice system and try to rehabilitate them without any major support systems. Therefore we go back to the issue where we think any funding that is put into this program needs to be targeted and needs to be directed in terms of how it's going to be targeted at the provincial level.

If it's as Mr. McKay had said, a blank cheque that goes out there and is used, it must be targeted at the provincial level, and from my perspective, it must be targeted at the early intervention stage. As we alluded to earlier here when the statement that was made about bullying, from studies we have done, if we can start programs that are on a continuum from kindergarten to grade 12 in terms of bullying and its impacts—it's called “bullying” in the lower grades, “teasing” in the middle grades, and “harassment” in the upper grades, and then it goes into the workplace and is called harassment, and so on—if we can have continuous programs that address that issue, then in my view, we will be able to create a better society. I strongly believe this, and I strongly believe the same thing in that if we can target the youngsters who are faced with poverty, with abuse, with all these situations in the early years, preschool right up to the first couple of years of high school, we will be able to reduce the number of people entering the youth justice system. That's from 35 years of experience in dealing with a number of individuals in a number of different schools.

Mr. John Maloney: I think it's good advice; it's good counsel.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Mr. Cadman.

Mr. Chuck Cadman: Mr. Chairman, this is not quite dealing with the bill before us, but out of curiosity regarding the whole issue of suspensions, where there's an incident that occurs where a suspension is warranted, I've talked to some kids, and a lot of teachers would say it's not very constructive, because with suspensions, usually you wind up sending a kid out of the school to hang around the 7-Eleven and the Mac's Milk because his parents are both working, which is where he wants to be. He's probably not the one you want hanging around there.

I know there is one school in my community in which—I'm not sure whether they're still doing it—their suspensions were within the school. Everybody who was suspended went to one room where they were monitored, and they sat there for a week and did their work. I wonder if you have any comments on that.

• 1345

It seems to be counterproductive now. Even when an incident does warrant it, does it do any good to send a kid home, where there is no supervision? Obviously not. I'd just like your view.

Ms. Marilies Rettig: I'll start and then you can follow up.

I agree, there are certain instances where a student would have to be removed from the setting, particularly in cases of violence or assault or that kind of situation. But there are in-school suspensions. They're found to be very effective, very successful, both at the elementary and secondary levels. Certainly you have to ensure that you have the on-site resources and the personnel to be able to facilitate in-school suspensions.

It's imperative we look at those different kinds of intervention strategies, as opposed to the black and white “You've done this. You're suspended. You're out”, and in the same neighbourhood where there might be other problems that would be more pronounced because they're out of the school setting.

Certainly I welcome your input.

Mr. Dan Wiseman: Further, the issue certainly poses a conundrum to all of us. I would propose an analogy or a similar issue with dropouts. It is a resource issue, and when schools and communities run out of options, sometimes the only available option is to leave school, or in this case suspend. Whether it's valid or not, it becomes the only available option.

When you address an issue such as dropouts, which we did in Ontario after Radwanski's report—we began to develop alternatives and different ways of doing business, which is a resource-intense environment and takes people and options—then you reduce the dropout rate. It's not rocket science. When you have a range of options, you can modify the needs of children. It's effective and it's cheap, and in the long term it's beneficial.

I would pose the same analogy for suspensions. When you have an array of options—in-school options, alternative programming for students who simply can't cope in a regular high school—then you need to have those options. In an environment that is shrinking with these resource environments, both within the education sector and beyond, then the options, the flexibility, and therefore the decision-making of a school principal are simply more limited. This is not necessarily justifiable in terms of the best interests of children, families, and certainly the long-term community, but they become the only option, and we come into ourselves.

That's a positioning that at least I believe our colleagues at the table are trying to reverse, and that's an important reversal. But it is labour intensive and it is expensive. But it's a lot cheaper than the ultimate walking away from that. It's a continuum. I see in suspensions and dropouts really the same kind of structural analysis, and the results are self-evident. They should not be a surprise to any of us.

Mr. Ross Donaldson: Again, from experience as a principal in five different high schools over my career and in the job I hold now, I think a suspension is effective where there is not a requirement for a repeat suspension. For some cases it is a very clear wake-up call, because when the individual returns, with the resources that are available as part of a re-entry to the school, you can address some of the root causes. But continuous suspension of an individual from school is very counterproductive and non-productive.

I would put those remarks in the context of—and I always have trouble with this word—recidivism. Too many syllables!

Voices: Oh, oh!

Mr. Chuck Cadman: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thank you.

Mr. McKay.

Mr. John McKay: It looks as if I'll get the last question here.

I want to go to recommendation 3, wherein you say you think subclauses 124(5) and 125(6) should be amended to clearly state there's a requirement to disclose information. I'm looking at subclause 124(5), which says, “The provincial director or a youth worker may disclose information...”. Would you propose to amend that to “must disclose information”?

Ms. Marie Pierce: Yes, that's our proposal.

Mr. John McKay: Okay. And is it the same proposal with respect to subclause 124(6), to change “may disclose” to “must disclose to any professional or other person engaged in the supervision...”? Is it the same proposal?

Ms. Marie Pierce: Yes, it is.

Mr. John McKay: Okay, thank you.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): That's it, Mr. McKay?

Mr. John McKay: That's it—three simple questions.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): That's the end of our questioning. See? It hardly hurt at all, did it?

Incidentally, I'm glad to find an educator who can't pronounce “recidivism” either.

Voices: Oh, oh!

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Sometimes I wind up saying, “You know, those guys who go back all the time.”

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I'd like to give you an extra-special thank you, because we gave you a really hard time, and I'm awfully sorry about it. If it gives you any satisfaction, when you go to bed tonight, you can know we will probably still be voting.

Voices: Oh, oh!

Mr. Dan Wiseman: We'll catch you on the parliamentary channel.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Ivan Grose): Thanks again.

The meeting is adjourned.